A recent conversation with two affluent individuals in my home community took an interesting turn when I explained my concern for another’s erratic behavior. My heart began to race and, before I could fully wrap my head around why another’s behavior brought up so many uncomfortable feelings within myself, I calmly stated, “I was raped.” I had only shared this secret (which unfortunately has happened twice in my adult life) with an intimate group of individuals. But in this moment I felt compelled to speak my Truth. I left the conversation to be alone with my emotions, which I had previously internally compartmentalized, to see how I could further explore this deep seeded pain. It was no surprise then that the synchrony of the Universe unfolded before my eyes when I witnessed Dr. Blasey Ford’s courageous ability to share her story and thus encourage a powerful movement.

...in this moment I felt compelled to speak my Truth.

I must admit that I still have some reservation in sharing my stories and this is because of the stigmatism attached to the term “victim”. I in no way shape or form identify myself as a victim and yet I definitely was in these past events. In order to clarify this idea of “victim,” I will now be transparent about my past experiences. Transparency, as witnessed with Dr. Blasey Ford’s speech, can create meaningful change and growth of understanding and awareness within our communities.

The hashtag, “Why I Didn’t Report,” has gone viral. It is, in my opinion, a most effective approach to bringing awareness of the extent and the pain caused of a long history of sexual misconduct. I sincerely applaud the value that it brings to society because it is giving us the knowledge and understanding to empower one another. So here is why I didn’t report:

First experience

I was intoxicated and underage.

I was embarrassed.

I didn’t have any information about this individual.

I didn’t want to create drama.

I was afraid.

It was his word against mine.

Second experience (and hopefully the last time)

We had consensual sex in the past.

I didn’t want to make his life any more difficult than it already was.

I questioned whether or not I had said no firmly enough.

I didn’t want to endanger his custody rights with his child.

I was in shock that someone that I loved could hurt me.

I was embarrassed that I put myself in this position.

It was his word against mine.

Change occurs in society when we find the courage to speak our Truth. Thank you, Dr. Blasey Ford, for being the first of many to encourage a radical change of openness within our society.

Always grateful,

Alisha xoxo

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